Having your own flock of backyard chickens is an excellent way to get fresh eggs when you need them, and chickens even make for interesting pets and are always a lot of fun to watch. However, chickens are not the highest up on the food chain, which means they will have to protected from potential predators if you want to keep them safe. Unfortunately, there are a lot of predators to be concerned about, especially when the sun goes down and your flock goes to roost in their coop for the night. If you have chickens in your backyard, make sure you keep an eye out for these pests and contact an animal trapping agent if you suspect a problem.
Raccoons can be found across the country, and even though they have cute teddy bear faces, they can actually be pretty vicious. Raccoons are known to slip into a coop under a veil of darkness and either attack chickens or steal whatever eggs they can find. Because raccoons have fairly good dexterity in their paws, they can even slip right past basic latches and doors. Therefore, if you notice your coop door is being opened at night, coons could be your problem.
Specifically in the summer months, snakes can be a real problem for backyard chicken owners. Snakes often slide their way right through tiny holes in the coop or even a small tear in a piece of screen on a window. Some predatory snakes can wrap their bodies around the chicken while they roost to strangle and then make a meal out of them. Plus, some types of snakes really love a good fresh egg or baby chick. If you notice signs of snakes in your chicken coop, whether it is droppings or shedded snakeskin, it is best to get in touch with a pest control agent.
These sneaky little critters are not picky eaters at all. They will go after anything from the chicken feed in your coop to the chickens themselves. Opossums usually come out at night but can sometimes be brave enough to slip inside a coop during the day as well. These critters have super sharp teeth and may attack unsuspecting birds while they are either roosting or on their nest with chicks. Opossums don't have the same hand dexterity as raccoons, so they can usually only get inside your coop if you inadvertently leave it open or there is damage in the construction. Either way, you definitely do not want them hanging out in your coop.
If you're worried about any of these pests, contact a company like C&C Creature Catchers.